What to See at This Weekend’s Other Art Fairs

The Fountain Art Fair and Edition Chicago should be worthy alternatives to Expo Chicago, the Navy Pier mega-exhibition.

Photo: Courtesy Cody Hudson

This limited-release screenprint by Cody Hudson will be available at Edition Chicago this weekend.

If Expo Chicago is the well-coiffed older sibling, Edition and Foundation Art Fair are its younger, alterative kin. As the two fairs are new to Chicago’s revived art fair scene, here are some insider tips on how to make the most of each event.

Fountain Art Fair

What to expect: This fair isn’t about million-dollar Picasso paintings. Instead, galleries from Seoul, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago exhibit the next-generation Picassos; think graffiti painting, political protest art, and gender-bending nude portraits. (Price range: $35–$2,000).

The scene: Youthful, energetic, and uncensored. (There will inevitably be someone doting an Andy Warhol wig.) Detroit-based electroclash band Adult plays on the Saturday night. Past years have included meat cutlets served on a naked woman, a giant-sized pink bunny Peep, and paintings in homage to Johnny Cash. Their logo is a urinal (Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain) so expect some shock art and, inevitably, some schlock art.

Wow factor: A mini-performance art festival throughout the weekend curated by Meredith Weber of the Happy Collaborationists. The program includes roaming performers, so steal yourself for everything from artists being dragged across the ground to busts of Obama sculpted from butter.

The details: Located at Mana Contemporary, the fair runs Saturday, and Sunday beginning at noon ($10 for one day, $15 for two) and eager beavers can buy a $50 VIP pass that give you access to the venue beginning noon. Friday night also marks the opening reception, which is open to the public, beginning at 7 p.m.

Mana Contemporary, 2233 S. Throop. Parking is available, and there are complimentary shuttles between EXPO and Fountain. fountainartfair.com.

 

Edition Chicago

What to expect: A curated selection of contemporary art galleries with a focus on “affordable” artworks (under $5,000) emerging art collectors looking to collect artists on the rise. Edition includes some of the best local galleries and non-profits with a taste of galleries from Boston, Toronto, and L.A.

The scene: This is the inaugural year for Edition, and its exhibitors will emphasize quality over quantity. Some of Chicago’s best non-profits, like the Museum of Contemporary Photography and Threewalls, will be offering affordable editions by Chicago artists.

Best bargain: A limited-release screenprint (in an edition of 100) is available at the fair for $50 by local legend Cody Hudson (an image is above).

The details: $10 suggested donation. Friday begins at noon, Saturday at 10 a.m., Sunday at 11 a.m.

Chicago Artists Coalition, 217 North Carpenter. CTA pink and green lines at Morgan. editionchicago.com.

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